Marseille is the second largest city in France after the capital city Paris. It has a strategic location and it is the trade center in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It is among the oldest cities of Europe and was founded way back in 600 BC. It is believed that it was built by Phoceans, who had Greek roots. Owing to its important location, it changed hands several times throughout the course of history.
One may still find fortresses, palaces and other buildings of historical importance in Marseille. These buildings are evidence to the rich cultural past of this historic city. One may find traces of Greek and Roman architecture in and around the city. Quite interestingly, evidence of habitations as old as 30,000 BC has been discovered in its vicinity.
There are numerous places in and around it that are popular among tourists, both domestic and international. Owing to its rich cultural history, it has a special mention in art and historical quarters. The Vieux Port or the Old Port is its main harbor. Two imposing forts namely Fort Saint Jean and Fort St Nicolas have guarded it for centuries.
It is an important place for tasting French cuisine as well. A couple of restaurants and cafés greet visitors coming in here. Quai des Belges is a popular fish market near harbor. Another place of interest here is the Phare de Sainte Marie which is a lighthouse.
Notre Dame de la Garde is an imposing church overlooking Marseille. Fishermen used to seek divine blessings for their new boats before venturing with them into sea. It also offers a splendid view of the city. Le Cours Julien and la plaine is a popular area in the city for hanging out. One may find a number of playgrounds, fountains, bookstores and fountains here.
Bi-weekly markets are held at this place on Thursdays and Saturdays. Being there early can fetch you some really cool deals. It is one of the happening places in the city. To have a magnificent view of the city, one can walk along the Corniche which is a road and a walkway.
While in Marseille, do not forget to enjoy a couple of cultural extravaganzas. Marsatac is a music festival which is held in the month of September every year. A number of popular music bands perform at this festival. Another music festival is La Fiesta Des Suds which is organized during October.
La Fête Bleue or the Blue Festival is organized during end of June. Movie projections, exhibitions and concerts are held during this festival. The whole city is decorated with blue colored decorative items. The main dance festival Festival de Danse et des Arts Multiples de Marseille goes on throughout summer season in the city.
Tourists can reach here by catching a flight to the international airport located here. It is connected with major French and other European cities by train. It has a direct connectivity with Paris, Lyon, Brussels and Barcelona. Apart from that, it has got tremendous road connectivity and can be reached by boat as well.